8 Best RC Trainer Planes for Beginners

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Not all remote controlled trainer planes are easy-to-fly toy models though some are. Trainers should share common characteristics whether they’re toy-grade or hobby-grade. The one you choose needs to reflect your skill level and ambitions. The type of plane you want to fly may look quite different to the one you learn with. The apprentice who starts low gets to aim high later and makes a better pilot.

It’s not difficult to find RC training planes, but it’s vital to get it right. There are several things to consider that can help novice pilots make better-informed choices.

Budget
best-budget-remote-controlled-trainer-plane
HobbyZone Champ RC Trainer
4.5/5.0
Wing: High
Type: RTF
All batteries, replaceable parts, hand launch, steerable tail wheel.
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Best Value
best-value-remote-controlled-trainer-plane
Umx Cessna 182 RC Trainer
4.7/5.0
Wing: High
Type: BNF
Realistic design, brushless motor, 4 channel control, steerable nose wheel.
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Top Pick
top-value-remote-controlled-trainer-plane
Carbon Cub S+ RC Trainer
4.8/5.0
Wing: High
Type: RTF
Oversized Tundra tires, optional flaps & floats, brushless outrunner motor.
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5 Characteristics of an RC Trainer Plane

Capable RC trainer planes check the boxes of some or all the following points:

  1. Available as Ready-to-Fly (RTF) or Bind-N-Fly (BNF)
  2. High wing design with wing dihedral (upward ‘V’ angle)
  3. Flat bottom wings
  4. Two or more flight modes
  5. Rugged, crash-resistant construction

These are points for consideration and not must-have features. The model you opt for is down to personal style, ability, and a model’s combined attractions. This introduction gives you something to think about and acts as a foundation. Let’s now look at each of the above points in more detail.







Other Considerations

Other considerations pertain to all RC electric airplanes, and not only trainers. They include things like the flight time on a single charge and how long it takes to recharge a flat battery. Most pilots invest in extra batteries so think about the cost and availability. Flight range is another buying factor for some.

About My ‘Remote Control Trainer Planes’ Guide

The trainer planes in this guide are the result of careful research. All models are worthy contenders in their respective class and price category. I also took the opinions of industry experts and user reviews into consideration before compiling the final list. The first three reviews are Editor’s Choice for Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The trainer planes below those are by price, lowest to high.

This table shows the models for review. Feel free to jump to the RC trainers that interest you.

Remote Control Trainer Planes Comparison Table

Make and ModelWingTypePrice
HobbyZone Champ Teach Yourself RC Trainer PlaneHighRTFCheck Price
E-flite BNF EFL Umx Cessna 182 Basic RC Trainer PlaneHighBNFCheck Price
HobbyZone Carbon Cub S+ RTF RC Plane W/ Flight ModesHighRTFCheck Price
VOLANTEXRC Micro RCTrainer Airplane TraninstarHighRTFCheck Price
FUNTECH 3CH Indoors/Outdoors RTF RC Beginner PlaneHighRTFCheck Price
HobbyZone Sport Cub S RTF W/ SAFE Select TecnologyHighRTFCheck Price
ParkZone F4F Wildcat BNF Basic W/ AS3X & SAFE SelectMidBNFCheck Price
EFL Valiant Versatile 1.3M BNF Basic Trainer PlaneHighBNFCheck Price

1. HobbyZone Champ RC Trainer Plane | Best Budget

HobbyZone Champ RC Trainer PlaneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The HobbyZone Champ RC Trainer is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to learn how to fly. It’s entry-level flight characteristics ensure stress-free experiences for newbies.

  • Best feature 1: Detailed instruction manual with beginner flying tips
  • Best feature 2: Durable, crash-resistant construction
  • Plus points: All batteries, replaceable parts, hand launch, steerable tail wheel, carry box
  • Minus points: Fragile to handle, short flight time

What We Like About HobbyZone’s Champ

Everything you need to start flying the Champ is right there in the box, including all the batteries. Most RC planes don’t include the transmitter batteries, so it’s a welcome touch. The Champ’s detailed instruction manual is another bonus. It has plenty of learner flying tips and safe practices. That’s unique in as much as it’s written with the novice clearly in mind.

Another great feature is that you can fly the Champ RC aircraft just about anywhere. It doesn’t need vast amounts of open space or long runways to take off and land. Pilots can enjoy this small foam model in large back yards, a cul-de-sac, and at parks, etc. You can get the plane airborne in a moment using the hand launch. And the steerable tail wheel makes it easy to drive the craft on the ground.

Durable and Protected

The plane is durable and stands up to newbie crashes and hard landings well. Despite that, it still needs careful handling (see below). All the spare parts are available if something does break. HobbyZone’s Champ comes in a sturdy cardboard box that’s more than just packing. It also acts as an excellent carry case and storage container for when you’re not using the plane.

The Not So Good

This RC plane is durable, but it’s also ultra-lightweight. It stands up to crash landings well but not rough handling. Those new to RC planes are more likely to damage the Champ with their hands than a crash. Be gentle with it, and you’ll be fine. The flight time on a single charge is 7–8 minutes at most. That’s average but not long enough, so an extra battery pack or two is a wise investment.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: RC RTF Park Flier
Dimensions: 19.9 x 19.2 x 6.2”
Material(s): Foam
Flying Weight: 1.3 oz.
Max Range: Not specified
Battery: 3.7V 1S 150mAh Li-Po
Max flying time: 8 minutes
Charging time: 30 minutes
The Pros
Detailed, beginner-friendly guide
Durable, crash-resistant build
Easy for first-time pilots
All batteries included
All replaceable parts available
Hand or ground launch
Steerable tail wheel
Sturdy carry/storage box
The Cons
Fragile to handle
Short flight time

2. E-flite BNF EFL Umx Cessna 182 Basic | Best Value

E-flite BNF EFL Umx Cessna 182 BasicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Best Value pick goes to the E-flite BNF EFL Umx Cessna 182 Basic. This is a gorgeous RC trainer plane that sports a realistic design. It’s also an incredibly stable flier—essential for newbies.

  • Best feature 1: Easy to fly at the beginner level
  • Best feature 2: Optional SAFE™ Select flight mode
  • Plus points: Realistic design, brushless motor, 4 channel control, steerable nose wheel
  • Minus points: Bind-N-Fly (also a pro), short flight time

What We Like About E-flite’s Cessna 182 Basic

It looks fantastic, and that’s not something all RC trainer aircraft can claim. There’s a lot of attention paid to the finer details. Some of those include wheel pants, panel lines, and cowl inlets. The optional SAFE™ Select flight mode is ideal for beginners as it auto self-levels when activated. That lets novice pilots focus more on flying fun and less on correcting the plane during flight.

There’s plenty to exploit as learners gain experience. The Cessna 182 boasts a powerful 180-size brushless motor and full 4+ channel (CH) controller. That means rudder, throttle, elevator, and ailerons. And the steerable nose wheel makes light work of taxiing on the ground.

The Not So Good

This trainer plane is a Bind-N-Fly (BNF) model which means it needs extras to complete. They include a full-range, 4+ CH DSMX®/DSM2® transmitter, flight battery, and charger. The batteries should be 200–280mAh 2S LiPos. A 280mAh should give around 8 minutes of flight time in SAFE Select mode. BNF planes are also a pro for those who have other BNF models as they can share the same transmitter.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: BNF Ultra-Micro Trainer
Dimensions: 23.7 x 23.5 x 6.2”
Material(s): Foam
Flying Weight: 4.6 oz.
Max Range: Depends on transmitter
Battery: 200–280mAh LiPo (not included)
Max flying time: 8 minutes
Charging time: Depends on transmitter
The Pros
Easy to fly at beginner level
SAFE™ Select flight mode
Bind-N-Fly (also a con)
Realistic details
Powerful brushless motor
4+ channel control potential
Steerable nose wheel
The Cons
Bind-N-Fly (also a pro)
Short flight time

3. HobbyZone Carbon Cub S+ RTF RC Trainer | Top Pick

HobbyZone Carbon Cub S+ RTF RC TrainerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Carbon Cub S+ is our Top Pick remote controlled trainer plane. It has everything you need to fly right there in its box. This is perhaps the easiest, most versatile, beginner RC airplane around.

  • Best feature 1: Anyone at any level can fly this model
  • Best feature 2: SAFE Plus GPS-enabled drone technology
  • Plus points: Oversized Tundra tires, optional flaps & floats, brushless outrunner motor
  • Minus points: Missing status indicators, short flight time

What We Like About HobbyZone’s Carbon Cub S+

The SAFE Plus GPS-enabled drone technology is unique (see next). HobbyZone’s Carbon Cub S+ is the ultimate all-purpose plane for users at different levels. That means learner pilots can enjoy the same model as their skills advance. The three flight modes are Beginner, Intermediate, and Experienced. Each one gives the operator a set of controls to match ability and experience.

Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope(SAFE) Technology

The 3 flight modes limit pitch and bank angles though there’s more to SAFE than this, e.g.

  • AutoLand: brings the plane down safely with the press of a button
  • Holding Pattern: brings the plane back safely to its pre-defined GPS point
  • Virtual Fence: an invisible boundary that the plane won’t pass
  • Panic Recovery: automatically brings the aircraft back to level flight

All RC pilots appreciate these features, but they’re especially welcome at the entry level. There’s more too. The Carbon Cub S+ has oversized Tundra tires with multi-terrain capability. They can steer the plane across ground surfaces other models can’t go like grass, dirt, and gravel.

Functional Flaps and Floats

It’s possible to add flaps and floats (not included) to make the plane even more versatile. The functional flaps give the plane short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It also needs a 7CH+ computer transmitter and a couple of other component upgrades. It’s good to have the option, though. And an optional float set can turn the Carbon Cub S+ into a capable float plane within minutes.

The aircraft boasts a powerful ParkZone 480 BL outrunner motor and ParkZone servos. It comes with a Spektrum DXe 2.4GHz transmitter and 1300mAh 3S 11.1V 20C LiPo. There’s also a DC charger plus an AC Adapter included. This exquisite model is ready to fly (RTR) right out of its box.

The Not So Good

There are a couple of missing indicators which is a surprise. There’s no indicator to show which Virtual Fence (VR) mode you’re in, or even if it’s in VF. Nor is there an indicator to show successful Compass Calibration. The flight time is also a disappointment with just 6 minutes at medium throttle. It’s more like 3 minutes on a single charge if you fly this puppy hard. Spare batteries are vital extras.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: All-purpose RTF RC plane
Dimensions: 46.7 x 18.5 x 6.3”
Material(s): Durable EPO
Flying Weight: 36.1 oz.
Battery: 1300mAh LiPo
Max flying time: 6 minutes
Charging time: 1 hour
The Pros
Easy to fly at beginner level
Lightweight foam construction
SAFE Plus GPS-enabled technology
Oversized Tundra tires
Optional flaps and floats
Brushless outrunner motor
DC charger + AC adapter
Spektrum DXe 2.4GHz Transmitter
The Cons
Missing indicators
Short flight time

4. VOLANTEXRC Micro RCTrainer Airplane

VOLANTEXRC Micro RCTrainer AirplaneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Meet the VOLANTEXRC RCl Micro Traninstar. It’s a small, lightweight, trainer that comes ready to fly (RTF) indoors or outside on calm days. It’s also the most affordable model on this page.

  • Best feature 1: Indoor/outdoor capable trainer plane
  • Best feature 2: Carbon frame
  • Plus points: 6-axis stabilizer, 2.4GHz controller, flexible EPP foam, simple charging
  • Minus points: Restricted 2 channel transmitter, not wind-resistant

What We Like About VOLANTEXRC’s Micro Trainer

The VOLANTEXRC Micro RC Trainer is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to have a go at flying. This model offers a lot considering its price. Best of all is that it’s indoor/outdoor capable. That’s thanks to the 6-axis stabilizer and 2.4GHz controller. Many budget-end RC planes use Infrared (IR) controllers instead of radio transmitters. The problem with IR is that it doesn’t work in bright sunlight.

This model has a carbon frame and uses flexible, crash-resistant EPP foam. The flight time of 15 minutes is also impressive for a small trainer. Charging is both convenient and quick using the transmitter. The only downside is that charging drains the controller batteries quicker.

The Not So Good

VOLANTEXRC’s mini RCTrainer uses a 2.4GHz controller which is great. The not so good is that it’s only 2 channels. That means there are just engine and rudder control. That’s a good thing for the complete novice of course. Still, the flying restrictions of a 2CH controller can soon become tedious. The other downside is that the model’s lightweight makes it too unstable to use outdoors in the wind.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: Micro RTF RC Trainer
Dimensions: 7.9 x 77.3”
Material(s): Durable EPP
Flying Weight: 0.35 oz.
Max Range: 164 ft. (50 meters)
Battery: 3.7V 80mAh
Max flying time: 15 minutes
Charging time: 30+ minutes
The Pros
Indoor/outdoor trainer plane
Carbon framework
Flexible EPP foam
6-axis stabilizer
2.4GHz controller
Simple charging
The Cons
Restricted 2 channel transmitter
Not wind-resistant

5. FunTech 3CH RTF RC Beginner Trainer Plane

FunTech 3CH RTF RC Beginner Trainer PlaneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

This trainer plane is the FUNTECH 3 channel ready to fly (RTF) crash-resistant beginner craft. It’s a popular model with enthusiasts of all ages and an excellent first-time choice.

  • Best feature 1: Beginner-friendly RC Trainer
  • Best feature 2: 6-axis stabilizing gyro
  • Plus points: Durable EPP foam, 3 modes, variable speed control, extra props, fast charging
  • Minus points: Short flight time, only 3 channels

What We Like About FunTech’s RC Trainer

The plane uses durable, flexible expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam in its build. EPP is the perfect material for new pilots who can’t avoid a few crash landings. It has a rubbery feel to it but without the weight of rubber. The props are the most vulnerable in a crash, so this model includes an extra set. Accidents are quite uncommon, though, thanks to the FunTech’s novice-friendly features.

Beginner friendly characteristics include a 6-axis gyro and a variable speed knob. There are also 3 flight modes, i.e., Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert. The gyro doesn’t work in the Expert setting as skilled pilots need full control over flight behavior. Battery charging only takes around 20–25 minutes.

The Not So Good

Expect around 8 minutes of flight time on a full battery in Beginner mode. In Expert mode that goes down to about 6 minutes. The motors need at least 10 minutes to cool down between flights anyway. The fast charging time means there’s not the same urgency for spare batteries as with some planes. Most users still invest in extra packs to shorten the wait between flights.

This plane has only 3 channels (CH) despite its various skill levels. A 3CH model doesn’t have functional ailerons and is less agile than 4 or more channels. That’s not a problem for the novice, but it can become frustrating as skills develop.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: RTF RC 3CH trainer
Dimensions: 15.7 x 12.2 x 3.9”
Material(s): Durable EPP foam
Flying Weight: 0.38 oz.
Max Range: 320 ft. (98 meters)
Battery: 3.7V 180mah LiPo
Max flying time: 8 minutes
Charging time: 20+ minutes
The Pros
Beginner-friendly RC Trainer
6-axis stabilizing gyro
Durable material
3 flight modes
Variable speed control
Extra props
Fast charging time
The Cons
Short flight time
3 channels

6. HobbyZone Sport Cub S RTF W/ SAFE Select

HobbyZone Sport Cub S RTF W/ SAFE SelectView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

New pilots want to learn fast, but they also need a model that lets them set the pace. HobbyZone® Sport Cub S is a compact, lightweight plane that checks all the right boxes.

  • Best feature 1: SAFE® Select technology
  • Best feature 2: Award-winning RC plane
  • Plus points: 4CH (channel) control, panic recovery, steerable tail wheel, USB charging
  • Minus points: Average flight time, too small and light for winds

What We Like About HobbyZone’s Sport Cub S

Total newbies can practice flying this beautiful bird using the RealFlight® simulator. Those who want to take to the real-world sky right away can do that too. The revolutionary SAFE® Select technology gives any raw novice confidence on those early flights. It’s easy to advance one’s flying skills using the various modes too. And the Panic Recovery button is always at the fingertips if you need it.

Many trainer RC planes are 2 and 3 channels (CH), but this one is a 4CH. Four channels give pilots more controls. That includes ailerons as well as a working throttle, elevator, and rudder. Ground control is made easy with the steerable tail wheel. The Sport Cub S uses a 3.7v 1S 150mAh LiPo battery that charges in an incredible 20 minutes using the USB port.

The Not So Good

Moderate flying should get about 9 minutes on a single charge or slightly more. That’s average yet annoying, especially for learner pilots not used to short flights. At least you only need one extra battery with the super-fast charging time. HobbyZone says this plane is steady in winds—it’s not. It’s too small and light to fly well outdoors in anything above 5 mph.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: RTF Sport Cub S Trainer
Dimensions: 21.8 x 21.5 x 5.8”
Material(s): Foam
Flying Weight: 2.0 oz.
Max Range: 300 ft. (91 meters)
Battery: 3.7v 1S 150mAh LiPo
Max flying time: 9 minutes
Charging time: 20+ minutes
The Pros
SAFE® Select technology
Award-winning RC plane
Striking replica of the Sport Cub
4CH (channel) control
Panic Recovery mode
Steerable tail wheel
Fast USB charging
Works with RealFlight® simulator (not included)
The Cons
Average flight time
Too small and light for winds

7. ParkZone F4F Wildcat BNF Basic W/ AS3X

ParkZone F4F Wildcat BNF Basic W/ AS3XView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

This RC warbird is the ParkZone F4F Wildcat. You may recognize it as the airplane that took to the skies over Pearl Harbor through 1942. It’s a beautiful scale replica and a competent RC trainer.

  • Best feature 1: Optional SAFE® Select flight protection
  • Best feature 2: Powerful 480-size brushless outrunner motor
  • Plus points: Quick assembly, easy to fly, durable EPO, hand launch, wide battery range
  • Minus points: Bind-N-Fly (BNF) also a pro, short flight time

What We Like About ParkZone’s F4F Wildcat

Park flyers like this F4F Wildcat make brilliant trainer planes. This model needs some assembly, but it’s straightforward and doesn’t take more than a few minutes. The plane comes equipped with plenty of pilot-friendly features. There’s a Spektrum receiver integrated with Artificial 3-axis Stabilization (AS3X) technology. AS3X maintains smooth steady flights when there’s a little wind turbulence.

The SAFE Select features add to the RC plane’s trainer capabilities. They include pitch and bank angle limits, automatic self-leveling, and more. Crashes are uncommon in training modes, though. And the durable construction and tough EPO foam protect the model if you do land heavy. The ParkZone’s F4F Wildcat is so easy to fly at any level, but it’s not only appealing to new pilots.

Bind-N-Fly (BNF)

Hand launches are fun. The plane quickly soars thanks to its Powerful 480-size brushless power system. It’s a bind-n-fly model, though, and doesn’t come with a controller, battery, or charger. The good news is that you get to choose from a wide battery range, i.e., 1300–2200mAh 3S LiPo.

Items needed to complete the kit include:

  • Full-range, 5CH+ DSMX®/DSM2®
  • Flight battery 1300–2200mAh 3S LiPo w/ EC3™ connector
  • Compatible LiPo charger

The Not So Good

Novice pilots—especially raw beginners—want to start flying with minimal fuss. Bind-N-Fly (BNF) means you must shop for other parts, so it’s a downside for some folks. But BNF planes are great investments if you have two or more BNF models. That’s because you can use one quality transmitter with several aircraft. That not only saves money in the long term but space too.

BNF can be a pro or a con depending on needs and expectations. The other gripe is the short flight time that comes with these birds. This model averages around 7 minutes with the biggest battery.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: Parkflyer RC Warbird
Dimensions: 33 x 18.7 x 8
Material(s): Durable EPO material
Flying Weight: 25.4 oz.
Max Range: Depends on transmitter
Battery: 1300–2200mAh 3S LiPo (not included)
Max flying time: 7 minutes
Charging time: Depends on charger
The Pros
SAFE® Select flight protection
Powerful 480 brushless motor
Quick assembly time
Fun and easy to fly
Durable construction
Hand launch
Wide battery range
BNF Bind-N-Fly (also a con)
The Cons
BNF Bind-N-Fly (also a pro)
Short flight time

8. EFL Valiant 1.3M BNF Basic Trainer Plane

EFL Valiant 1.3M BNF Basic Trainer PlaneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Last on the list of capable RC trainer planes is the versatile Bind-N-Fly (BNF) Valiant™. It’s a 1.3M park flier with the familiar stability of a high-wing model. This aircraft also has a sporty air about it.

  • Best feature 1: AS3X Receiver with Optional SAFE Select Technology
  • Best feature 2: Stable 1.3M RC trainer plane
  • Plus points: Functional flaps, 480 brushless power, aluminum landing gear, float set ready
  • Minus points: Bind-N-Fly, float set not included

What We Like About EFL’s Valiant Trainer

The Valiant’s striking design adds to the fun of the flight. This BNF basic trainer is versatile and exciting for pilots of all levels. Learners can exploit the AS3X Receiver with Optional SAFE Select Technology. AS3X (Artificial Stabilization, 3-aXis) ensures smooth, stable flying. The optional SAFE Select features support the learning experience. It provides pitch & bank angle limits, self-leveling, and more.

Another welcome feature is the functional flaps that allow pilots to unleash the beast. Once they have developed a few skills, it’s time to increase the performance envelope. Aerial aerobatics are possible thanks to the 480 brushless motor, light wing loading, and working flaps. And if you want fun on the water, you’ve got that too. It only takes a few moments to install a float set to the Valiant.

Finally, there’s the aluminum landing gear with wheel pants. It’s worth mention because flimsy landing equipment often lets RC planes down. There’s no risk of that with the Valiant™ park flier.

Items needed to complete the kit include:

  • Full-range, 5CH+ DSMX®/DSM2® transmitter
  • Flight battery 1300–3000mAh 3S LiPo
  • Compatible 3S LiPo charger

The Not So Good

Pilots looking for training planes don’t usually have a collection of models. Bind-N-Fly is only an advantage if you own—or expect to own—several BNF aircraft. That’s because you can use one transmitter to fly them all. Choose a ready to fly (RTF) RC plane if not. The versatile Valiant™ is float-set ready, but you must buy them as separate items. The price of the float set is around $30 or less.

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Tech Specs
Plane type: BNF RC Park Flyer Trainer
Dimensions: 39 x 20.5 x 7.4”
Material(s): durable Z-Foam™
Flying Weight: 40 oz.
Max Range: Depends on transmitter
Battery: 1300-3000mAh 3S LiPo (not included)
Max flying time: Depends on battery
Charging time: Depends on charger
The Pros
Stable 1.3M RC trainer plane
Bind-N-Fly RC Trainer
AS3X Receiver
Optional SAFE Select Technology
Fully-functional flaps
480 brushless motor
Float set available
Sturdy aluminum landing gear
The Cons
Bind-N-Fly (also a pro)
Float set not included
0/50 ratings